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Can the oppressed be racist to the oppressors?

Discussion in 'Debate Forum' started by AshxSatoshi, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. AshxSatoshi

    AshxSatoshi Ice Aurelia

    So the thread “can anyone be racist” got shut down and I believe it was due to it being ambiguous thus sparking a lot of different topics. Instead of asking “can (insert race) people be racist to white people. I’d like to ask does being a minority or oppressed mean you cannot be racist to the oppressor or majority?
  2. Auraninja

    Auraninja Try to understand.

    Racism and oppresion usually go hand in hand.

    I believe historically, there has been a case of resentment toward oppressors, but not deep racism.
    NeedsAName and Sham like this.
  3. shoz999

    shoz999 The goofiest-looking dog I've ever seen. I LUV IT!

    Have you ever heard of the story of US President Andrew Jackson? You probably know him well as the violent psychopath who has oppressed the Native American people, leading to mass deaths all across the US. To this day, I know not a single person who likes this cruel man. In fact, it might even be accurate to say that he is perhaps the cruelest US President in history. After all it is reasonable to see that way, he did nearly caused the extinction of the entire Native American people. However, have you ever asked yourself, how did he became the violent oppressor we know him today? Have you ever heard of Andrew Jackson the oppressed, his tragic childhood in a time of war, starvation, enslavement and a lack of education? Then you may better understand his unreasonable hatred, his violence, his racism. I'm not asking you to sympathize him. I'm asking you to understand how he became the infamous tyrant that has brought much shame to US history, for you may see a dark reminder of how destructive the cycle of hatred can be through the oppressed and the oppressor.
    TheCharredDragon and carterfeygo like this.
  4. MetalVictini

    MetalVictini Winning!

    Honestly, I feel like people get too wrapped up in who's "racist" against who and not realize this simple fact: Hate is bad, regardless of the direction it's thrown in. Just...don't be a hateful person in general.
  5. Sadib

    Sadib Time Lord Victorious

    Yes. You can be racist against white people.
  6. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    Of course being part of a minority doesn't mean that someone can't be racist. And on this subject, I'll add that I dislike terms like "reverse racism" since it just sounds ridiculous to me: the word racism itself is enough without complicating it with other terms. As for my own experience, since I'm an American living in Japan and hence a minority, I have on a few occasions felt discriminated against by the general population here, but it hasn't been something that made me that uncomfortable since it's quite rare to come across.
    carterfeygo and shoz999 like this.
  7. Gamzee Makara

    Gamzee Makara Let people enjoy things...

    Yes, but it doesn't cancel out the systemic model of racism to justify white people being racist.

    Nice race-baiting.
    keepitsimple, shoz999 and carterfeygo like this.
  8. Prof. SALTY

    Prof. SALTY The Scruffy Professor

    Short answer, yes. Any race can be racist to any race. But I definitely think each action has different weight and should be treated as such. And I really don't like retaliation racism where if a white person sees something they consider offensive, they do something offensive in return. What are you, 5? This isn't the playground. You can't use the "but he started it" argument.
    carterfeygo likes this.
  9. Bananarama

    Bananarama The light is coming

    You can be racist at an individual level towards any race.

    Systemic racism, however, is built on the systemic oppression of non-whites by whites. There are centuries of injustices created and perpetuated by Europeans and the European diaspora worldwide that reinforce racial oppression and white supremacy, from slavery to Jim Crow to mass incarceration to imperialism. So no, you can't enforce systemic racism on whites because they aren't collectively oppressed the way people of color are.
  10. Yes they can. The definition of racism is thinking that your race is superior to a certain other or every other race. So a minority can certainly be racist towards a majority.

    Also, the accusation of racism is thrown in your face really quickly when you are a part of the majority. Some people immediately accuse others of being racist when there's any kind of discussion or argument, sometimes even when they did something wrong themselves and someone confronts them about it while race has nothing to do with it only the fact that they're being a huge jerk at that moment.

    Being against a religion also often gets confused for racism for some reason. For an instance I'm pretty antithetic towards all religions, especially Abrahamic ones, which doesn't mean I sport any hate towards the practitioners of those religions but strongly disagree with their ideas and doctrine regardless of their race nor with any feelings of hate towards the persons themselves.

    That being said, systemic racism is a major problem in a lot of cultures though and usually does come from the majority towards a minority. People are fearful by nature, fear those who are different and that fear often does change in hate. Systemic racism also doesn't necessarily involve white people and yes white people can be the target of this (often in areas of the world where people have had bad experiences with white people such as colonization, wars, etc which is quite understandable but the white individuals who they target don't necessarily have a role in that).

    It is true that systemic racism often does come from white people towards other races, especially in the US where they're a majority in a country that's also a melting pot of all races since almost everyone in the US has an immigration background.
  11. MotostokeOnTrent

    MotostokeOnTrent PokéJungle writer

    Mmmyeess. Almost, I think.

    It's obviously true that these empires oppressed millions of people across the world, but this didn't happen because of racial policies or a belief in white supremacy. Empires were built on commercial opportunity and desire for geopolitical influence, at the expense of cultures and nations that Europeans weren't concerned about; the cart didn't come before the horse.

    Furthermore, there's nothing unique to the European character that resulted in mass oppression of non-white societies by white people. It's an accident of history that European technology and internal competition led to the colonial explosion and it was only special in scale - imperialism predates 'England' by millennia. Cultures that might be considered white have always oppressed other white cultures, just as non-white cultures have colonised and enslaved non-white cultures.

    So, I guess my point is, yes - instances of racial systemic oppression between white and non-white peoples almost universally favour the former. However, it's the result of the accidental success of Europe, not a deliberate policy of enforcing white supremacy, and it's certainly not the result of 'whiteness'.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  12. Sham

    Sham Korra was BETTER than ATLA your crazy

    I think a lot of people focus on how they can be oppressed and victims of racism instead of focusing on active racism/discrimination that’s occurring in America heavily (I’m using that as a basis since I’m American). I have my suspicions that most people who cry racism care very little about the topic itself and just think “I can be oppressed too” instead of the overall problem and issue with it. If this thread was focusing on the rampant racism in America instead of “can we be racist to white people” (because let’s face it that’s what this post is about); it would of probably gotten less replies. I’m more concerned with Hispanic children being thrown in cages and police brutality than can white people experience racism lol
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  13. Bananarama

    Bananarama The light is coming

    But it resulted in our modern conceptualization of white supremacy, which I'll go further into in a second.

    If you look at statistics around the world, white people have built-in advantages wherever they make up a significant portion of the population, in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality, income, class mobility, etc. Even in countries where they constitute a tiny minority (like in South Africa), whites overwhelmingly enjoy better standards of living than the indigenous, colonized people they share their land with. This isn't by accident.

    European imperialism is unique in history, in my opinion, in that it used scientific reasoning to justify oppression. "Race realists" in Europe had been theorizing about the inherent weakness of blacks, Jews and other ethnic groups since the Enlightenment, and that inevitably made its way into how colonizers treated their subjects. We could just as easily been talking about a world that systemically advantaged Japanese, Chinese, etc. descended people, but they never conceptualized race the way Europe did, and with the huge reach European imperialism had (and still has!) for the last couple hundred years, and the fact that almost every country in the world today is either European or a former European colony, I think it's worth discussing Europe's role in laying the foundations for modern white supremacy.

    And yes, it's true that European cultures have historically oppressed other European cultures: even during the modern imperialist project (Ireland is a perfect example of this!). But what made this different is that none of these groups fit under the 21st-century definition of "non-white". Race is a fluid social construct that can change depending on material circumstances. An Irish or Italian person, who may have been oppressed and other-ized as non-white two centuries ago perfectly fits under whiteness today.
    Sham likes this.
  14. Gamzee Makara

    Gamzee Makara Let people enjoy things...

    "i'm not racist, but...racism isn't based on race. And reverse racism exists, so everybody is awful"

    You're spouting the very things debate team dropouts use to justify racism, white nationalism, and other drivel designed to keep those who aren't in equal standing out of it.

    Rep. Steve King, is that you?
  15. bobjr

    bobjr It's Fusion, I don't have to expalin it. Staff Member Moderator

    Sham kind of talks about why I think these make terrible threads, because you get people who come in here and theorycraft instead of focusing on what actually is happening and direct action and solutions. It turns into white fragility where you usually have white people come in and say "Well you can also be racist against white people", because yeah in theory that is the case, but for the power and paradigms to shift into that becoming a major problem I just don't see happening in a year or two.

    And I do think a lot of it is "Well when people say I had huge structural and systemic advantages I don't believe them, I did it on my own". And a lot of the times they aren't fully wrong, just unwilling to admit that any portion of their life comes from things out of their control. The goal instead is to work on what's wrong now and fix it.

    Also whiteness is totally a thing, it just changes when the numbers get low and people go "Well you've assimilated enough that we'll bring you into the group". A good example is here how Irish stereotypes were the exact same thing they used for black people https://flashbak.com/the-simian-negroid-irish-depicted-in-english-and-american-cartoons-12727/.

    If you are white and have trouble accepting that it was likely a factor in giving you an advantage, don't deny it or fill yourself with guilt, use it to reflect and grow and help it not become a thing for the future.

    Also when it comes to things like tolerance and "I don't try and hate people", I'll argue that instead of hating individual people, hate the system and actions that lead to situation like this. Tolerance can easily turn into laziness, but hate gets **** done.
    Gamzee Makara likes this.
  16. Sham

    Sham Korra was BETTER than ATLA your crazy

    Nope I understand none of this. My social justice has no time to coddle racist people. I expect a functioning person (let alone a president) to have enough sense at his grown age to not associate specific events and circumstances with a group of people. My relative had a cat that scratched me almost everyday; am I suppose to kick a cat every time I see one because I had a “traumatic experience when I was little”? There’s no excuse for that. People try to pull the same thing, that Hitler had some awful experience with Jewish people when he was younger; am I suppose to understand the holocaust as well? Where is the line crossed?
  17. Divine Retribution

    Divine Retribution Master of the freak show

    Society has much bigger problems to worry about honestly. Whether black people can be racist towards white people is about issue number 531,897 on the list of things I care about. Get back to me when we've achieved world peace, eliminated our impact on climate change, ended hunger and homelessness, and made sure everyone has employment and health care.
  18. shoz999

    shoz999 The goofiest-looking dog I've ever seen. I LUV IT!

    I take it by your choice of words such as how you don't understand this only to say there's no excuse for it, that you think understanding where the problem lies and sympathizing with a person are the same thing? I think of it as separates. You can understand where an almost seemingly evil person comes from but at the same time you understand it's no excuse for them to act like that way. Understanding where these "monsters" come from is important. If you don't understand than I believe your version of social justice is completely worthless for one must understand the source of the problem if they want to not only solve it but ensure it is not repeated in the future.
  19. Sham

    Sham Korra was BETTER than ATLA your crazy

    There is nothing to understand. You can examine the facts of the situations and possible key factors leading to the incidents but painting it as "he went through X so that's why this happens". Examining a persons actions and past can be a good way to examine their overall psych but to "understand where a person comes from" is basically having empathy for them. Call it what is. It's almost how people try to excuse school shooters as "oh well they were bullied and that's why they went on a rampage". You can acknowledge the individual was bullied without trying to use that as a scapegoat as to why the events occurred. I'm a very understanding person but let's not pretend "understanding is key" when in reality it's just acknowledging these people made terrible choices by their own will. Understanding Hitler and Jackson isn't going to stop future events; understanding why we shouldn't allow these terrible people in power is important. What good is understanding Jackson if he still caused a genocide?
  20. MotostokeOnTrent

    MotostokeOnTrent PokéJungle writer

    • Outward Prejudice
    No, it's not by accident - it's the result of European colonialism. The fact that European colonialism 'got there first' (ahead of, say, a global Ottomon hegemony) is itself an accident, though.

    The science may have existed, and European societies were themselves racist, but this wasn't the motivation for colonialism itself. Funnily enough, Pocahontas has quite a pithy explanation:

    "The gold of Cortez
    The Jewels of Pizorro
    Will all seem mere trinkets
    By this time tomorrow"

    European colonialists wanted land, wealth and prestige - just like any early modern, medieval or classical society. 'The white man's burden' was a perverse attempt to justify the British Empire's presence in India on racial grounds, long after the British set foot there for commercial reasons. European colonialists were racist, yes, and the outposts and structures they enforced were systematically racist, but racism was not their motivation in the first instance.

    There's a multitude of reasons for this, and views on race don't really feature (the suggestion that the Japanese didn't have the mentality for empire seems way off) . Europeans happened to be internationalist, intensely competitive with each other, had political structures that rewarded the profit margin, and developed the appropriate technologies for overseas operations - again, by accident of history and geogrpahy. Some decent books are:

    - Empire and Civilisation (both Ferguson)
    - The English and their History (Tombs)
    - Why Nations Fail (Acemoglu and Robinson)

    This is the weird thing about how the American race debate has developed - Irish and Italian people are clearly white and have never been anything else. The legacy of black slavery is so pernicious and pervasive in the States that the language has undergone a kind of back formation wherein white skin is such a strong precondition for systemic racism that oppressed white people stop being white! It's bizarre to many of us Old-Worlders; these days, I'm in the habit of mentally replacing the term 'whiteness' with 'middle class' and suddenly the entire discussion makes much more sense.

    I'm not sure there's anything novel going in here, animal analogies are a pretty common trope in any kind of racism going back centuries - apes, pigs, rats, cockroaches, termites etc.

    I have no idea how on Earth you found these words in my previous post.

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